Computer Manufacturers Get Low Grades on Recycling

Computer makers’ environmental programs generally stink, though U.S. companies — particularly Dell and Hewlett-Packard — are better than most, says an annual report released yesterday by the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, an enviro group based in San Jose, Calif. No company is recycling more than 2 percent of its products — products chock-full of lead, polyvinyl chloride, mercury, and other hazardous materials — a statistic which coalition director Ted Smith called “pathetic.” Coalition researchers singled out Dell for particular praise. The company, which received terrible scores on last year’s report, has stopped using prison labor to recycle products and launched a new recycling campaign. A number of states are considering bills that would make manufacturers responsible, to some extent at least, for electronics recycling.